Step #1: Lectio / Read
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
It was once said by a great man of God, Blessed John Henry Newman that one of the strongest supports for “assenting” to the faith of Jesus Christ is through its witnesses that have gone before us. In other words, we can learn to say a firm and convicted “YES” to Christianity by the powerful examples and testimonies of our fathers in faith.
Today the Church universal honors the two pillars of Christianity, Saints Peter and Paul. In the opening prayer of the Mass for this feast we hear some powerful words... “Give us the noble and holy joy of this day, grant we pray, that your Church may in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion.”
We could write a ten-page paper on this prayer, with so many words to reflect on, but the one phrase for us to look at today is this... “May your Church in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion.” Here it is... Follow the Witnesses! Follow those who received the Good News of Jesus Christ and don’t look anywhere else.
Our lives can often be in a state of confusion and misdirection because we follow quacks. Yes I said quacks! A quack is someone who pretends to know what they are talking about. They quack, quack, quack their ideologies and self-interests; simply put, they are frauds! They have motives that promote themselves and agendas rather than proclaiming Jesus Christ. The temptation is always there to follow voices that lead us in the wrong direction.
Saints Peter and Paul experienced an encounter with God himself and then made an incredible act of charity...they passed on what they experienced even when a brutal death was imminent. If we want to do anything that can help Jesus’ message reach the hearts of others, simply follow the lead of the witnesses who personally met Jesus and died for Him and then don’t keep this to yourself...share the Good News. Do not be afraid to give your life to this cause for it has eternal implications of great joy. Follow the Witnesses!!!
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Who do I follow? Quacks or Jesus Christ?
Do I follow all teachings of the Church? they are founded on those who personally met Jesus.
What inspires me about the lives of Saints Peter and Paul? Think of 1 quality that I can challenge myself to live more fervently.
How can I become a great witness to the Gospel message?
STep #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"May the Church in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion."
"Follow all things in Christ."
"Follow those Witnesses."
For the Rest of Your Day...
Give one person today a prayer card, or some sort of invitation to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Be a Missionary like Peter and Paul!
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara.